By The Gentleman Cyclist
I’m told that back in the day… The Changi ride always used to have a drink stop and often had a prata stop as well. I vaguely remember people talking in hushed tones of the 7/11 with arctic air conditioning where hardened riders would top up their bidons before heading of to burn up the Changi Straight, but in 6 years of being in Singapore I don’t think I ever experienced this on a Saturday Changi.
So, as they say, what goes around comes around and at the end of Bintan, Chris “Escapologist” Rawlings happened to mention what he really fancied after months of tough training rides was a social ride, maybe even stopping somewhere for a drink. The room went silent, you could have heard a pin drop, blasphemy!, had the sun got to him, was he deranged.
Then slowly at first, but picking up speed, the idea took on a life of its own and seemed to spread like an African virus. Before we could control it, we had moved on for a simple drink fill up to stopping for Prata half way through a Changi ride. We thought it was an outrageously novel idea until, bursting our bubble, somebody pointed out that sometime about 1906 when men were men and bikes were made of granite the Changi ride had always had a prata stop.
Well if it was good enough for the hard men of old, it was good enough for us and after much, much preparation and planning, 6 days later 18 intrepid riders set out to find out if it could be done. Could you take a bunch of riders on a post Bintan high, mix in some more sedate folks and stick to a promised 30 kmh average with a food stop in the middle.
There were naysayers, those who said it wouldn’t last until the end of Mandai road, and those who said the Changi Straight would beat us, but we were up for the challenge, and we succeeded, a lovely ride, 30 kmh average, a stop for Prata breakfast at Changi Village
And with that the CPR was born, or reborn or resurrected, or reincarnated, depending on which religion you follow. Nobody was dropped, nobody had to yell steady up, and biggest shock of the day, there was no sprint on the Changi Straight.
What of the Prata I hear you say, well it was Prata with curry sauce and your choice of copi, copi C, milo or iced milo and you can’t beat it. To top it all off, when the bill came, everybody was a little shocked that they were so unprepared for such a small bill at around $3.60 per person, we reckon we couldn’t have ordered a skinny latte for that 😉
Over breakfast it was agreed that we should try to make it a regular feature on the ANZA Cycling calendar and so the plan is that from January (maybe even December if enough people are still on the Island) the third Saturday of each month will feature the Changi Prata Ride. Expected to average 30kmh over the ride and traveling down the Changi Straight at between 36 and 40. All are welcome except those looking to rip the legs off their club mates who need not apply.